Federer Wins Madrid to Claim #2 Ranking and 74th Title

COME ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!! :-) And the dream continues. Since the US Open last year Roger has now won 7/10 titles and has been the best player in the world. With this title he also becomes the first player in history to win at least ten titles on clay, hard, and grass court. The records keep tumbling. He has also won Madrid the most times now with three titles and and he did so on three different surfaces namely blue clay, red clay and indoor hard. Truly the all surface king. This is now his 20th Masters Series title and he is tied with Nadal again. But the title wasn’t easily won in the final at all. Berdych started off in the zone and broke Roger in his first service game. After that it was impossible to break back. Berdych was basically hitting winners at will.

When Berdych is in the zone like that there isn’t much you can do. You basically just gotta hang in there and hope for the best. But we have also seen how clutch Roger is these days. He just finds ways to win. It’s called the winning habit, and it comes with winning loads of matches. The first game of the second set was important because Roger was struggling to hold and could not afford to lose serve there. Then there was an incident where Berdych ran forward for a ball and the ball bounced twice, but the highly overrated Mohammad Layhani(or however the hell you spell his name) did not pick it up. I mean this guy makes mistakes ALL the time. I have no idea why they let him umpire in a final. Anyway Roger broke at 2-1 and then went ahead 4-1 after struggling to consolidate.

He was back in the match. But just as you thought Berdych was slowing down, he broke back at 5-3 to get back on serve. Very frustrating. I was hung over yesterday and I certainly didn’t need the extra stress. But at least Roger played a good game at 6-5 to break and take the second set, but bot before Berdych double faulted on set point. I was saved from a tie break. Hopefully the third set would be a little less close. It didn’t look so by the start if things. Roger finally got the break at 4-3 on another Berdych double fault. He would serve for the match, but this time he could not consolidate. Berdych broke back again which was highly frustrating. At 5-5 Roger held serve confidently to 15 with a sweet cross court forehand winner.

Then at 6-5 Roger went up 40-0 for three match points but for a second time in the set Berdych save all three break points. I certainly did NOT want to see a tie break in my condition. Thankfully Roger created another match point and this time took advantage. I was saved from another tie break in my fragile condition. This win felt great as a fan because it was once again kind of unexpected, like Indian Wells. I mean you knew he had a chance but having Nadal and Djokovic in the draw never makes the title a certainty. Luckily Roger had to play neither, but he may have beaten both the way him and them were playing. It just feels great that Roger won yet another Masters Series event, and especially that it is on clay.

I don’t know about you but I loved the clue clay. The surface itself was not in good condition but it was something fresh and Roger adapted well. Both Nadal and Djokovic complained, but it just means they could not adapt. There was no problem with the tennis on TV anyway. Madrid is my favorite clay event outside of Roland Garros because of the faster conditions and now the blue clay. Monte Carlo on the other hand is by far the worst of the clay Masters Series. As far as the ranking situation goes Roger is now #2, but if Nadal wins Rome he gets the number the #2 rank back. If Nadal makes the final then Roger has to make at least semis to remain #2. If Nadal makes anything less than the final then Roger remains #2.

The question is now whether Roger will play Rome. He struggled a bit with an injury during the final. Not sure what it is but he said he still needs to decide whether he will play Rome. Apparently he will decide on Wednesday. We all know Roger is the best in the business with these decisions so I have no doubt he will make the right decision. If he does play it means Nadal will probably have to go through him and Djokovic to win the event. That does make it harder for Nadal to win it. So given his draw I would obviously prefer that he plays, but he will know what is the best for his body. He will not take any big risks before the French and the grass court season. It will be nice if he can play because a semi would be almost a guarantee which would force Nadal to win the event.

But even if he does remain #2 it doesn’t mean Nadal would be in Djokovic’s half in Roland Garros. The #2 ranking is not that important. If Roger loses it he will get it back probably during the grass court season anyway. I obviously just want to see Roger play on my TV, and I would love to see what he can do against Djokovic and Nadal on clay in his current form. Those two looked very vulnerable in Madrid. If Roger can win Rome he may go into the French as the favorite. We’ll see. I didn’t mention that Will Smith was watching the final in Madrid and that the Federer twins were there too. Will Smith presented Roger with a Men In Back suit after the match and the twins were there to congratulate their daddy too. It was all quite special.

Lastly let me just say something about Roger’s transformation since the US Open last year. I know I keep harping on it but it has really been incredible. I mean here we have Roger 3.0 at age 30 playing like he is back in his prime. Fedfans truly are the most privileged sports fans of them all. It’s like Roger found a second wind and the chances are looking better and better that he will win a slam this year. It is just that mental adjustment that he made that is making all the difference in the world. Like I said he finds ways to win. The start of the final was not very encouraging at all when Berdych was hitting those big ground strokes but he grinded out the win. This is the sign of a true champion and the reason why I think more slam glory can’t be far away…

 Highlights: 

Will Smith Presentation:

On-court Interview:

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40 Comments

  1. Great post, Ru-an!!!! It just shows how Roger is able to surprise us even when the chips are down and it looks like he is done. We certainly felt that way after that US Open semifinal with Djokovic, we felt that way after the Australian Open semifinal with Nadal.

    We were so wrong to judge him and he proved time and time again what a MASTER and what a CHAMPION he is!!!

    Truly a beautiful sight to behold!!!

    Allez Roger!!! :-) )

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Vily yeah I was critical after the AO but felt it was necessary. But coming back from that the way he did really proved to me that it was not just another great indoor season but that something really did change after the USO.

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  2. It is great win for Roger. Every win is important now. But I do not agree with Ruan that Fed 3.0 is back in his prime. Fed 1.0 was totally superb player, very aggressive, very accurate, coming with idea everytime how to finish the point with the winner. Fed 3.0 is definitely better than Fed 2.0 but I do not like:
    his backhand (last time he had stable dangerous BH was AO 2010).
    He is way too passive, just slicing the balls back and his legs are not so fast as it were once for being able to be in defense for long time.
    Also I do not believe he would be broken twice at 5:3 lead like in 2nd and 3rd set in final.
    What I like is he use more SV
    more dropshots (specially FH ones)
    He uses more tactics now (age thing?)
    And that he has stable 1st serve with high %.

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    Candace Reply:

    Ruan, your new entry was worth the wait. I kept checking last night and this morning to see what you had to write about the match. :-)

    Vily, I agree with you that Roger did not play his A-game against Berdych. Some of that was due to Berdych being totally in the zone the first 40 minutes. I agree that his backhand was passive throughout points in the match and he seemed really slow running to his FH. But that might be because of the slippery conditions on the blue clay.

    However, the thing that really is worrisome is that he again dropped his serve when serving for the second set and then again serving for the match. Like Ruan, I get worried these days whenever Roger is serving for sets or the match. Remember he dropped serve at the USO against Djoker in 2011 and dropped serve when serving for the match (the first time) against Rafa at Indian Wells.

    This is just a bad sign, especially since Berdych isn’t a big rival and is a tier II player compared to Djoker or Nadal. I was ecstatic that Fed won another Masters event. But I remain worried about some of the elements of his game.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Candice I had a busy day yesterday so sorry for the wait. You shouldn’t worry so much. Roger is on a roll.

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  3. Greetings, Ru-an! Your analysis is always my favorite. However, you are speaking of Roger’s transformation, but did not mention the influence his added coach, Annacone, might have played in his now performance? Is it a legit question? Also, wonder why Roger never gives any mention or credit to his coaches.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes it does help Dolores but it’s only a piece of the puzzle. The biggest thing for me is that Roger got his passion back. There are many factors at work.

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    Dolores Reply:

    Thanks, Ru-an, for your answer. Yes, agree, Roger does have his passion back for his game. Wish him Good Luck in Rom.

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  4. Now we’re COOKING, Mr. Federer! Once again you’ve shown the world why you’re the Greatest of All Time—while others whined and moaned endlessly about a strange new surface, you simply held back, moved gingerly upon the new stage, then adapted superbly, showcasing your exquisite tennis ballet for all the world to see, revealing to everyone how little the surface really mattered when confronted with a Great Master’s Skill…. What a glorious tournament for Roger! After that first heroic victory over the dangerous Raonic, where he was saddled with the weight of too many idle Caribbean nights of creeping lethargy and rust, yet always refusing to give up, and this despite the much vilified blue clay that he was still learning to navigate, much like a brave toddler taking his first hesitant steps away from the crib … then, with that difficult baptism out of the way, showing us what he has shown us time after time for so many years: an ever-growing resolve, a finer and finer tuning of his vast skill-set as he plowed through a prosaic Frenchman, an obstinate Spaniard, and then an unexpected Serb to reach his 104th final with an almost pedestrian ease…. After all that, I just knew he would not be denied his Championship trophy, even as his B-game reared its ugly head from time to time…. Berdych played a fantastic first set, a practically unbeatable display from him. But The Maestro hung tough, and fought his way back. He started getting better reads on the Czech’s blistering serve, patiently waiting for the right time to strike to even the score, showing his great versatility by using ever sharper angles on his strokes to set up the crushing winner, be it a searing inside-out forehand, a drop shot, a smash, a backhand down the line, or that gloriously unnerving slice! What an arsenal! And all the while Roger just kept his cool, even after going down 0-30 in his first three service games of the last set, even after being broken late in the match, even after wasting 3 match points. Now that’s what I call Fighting Spirit! What a refreshing change from last year’s blown 2-set leads! Yes, Roger! Rage against those B-game blues whenever they appear. Just keep at it, and claw your way to Victory. Show Ruan that you’ve got Balls!… And does he ever! 7 titles in his last 10 tournaments. 74 career titles won in 104 Final appearances—you see how that 70th percentile keeps raising its elegant head? No, there was never any doubt in my mind that The Maestro lacked anything in the testicular department. One can not own all the records Roger owns without having a will of cold, hard steel…. Inevitably, during the Madrid trophy presentation, Federer was asked for his thoughts on the new blue clay. To quote the Maestro: “it was tough to move, but you just get on with it and try to make the best of it.” What a bracing contrast to the whimpers of the Djoker and the floundering, now #3 ranked Nadal! Once again Roger Federer has shown the world how a true Champion behaves. Get on with it, indeed! Mr. Federer! Show the world why you may be History’s first and last blue-clay champion to ever grace that court. Show the world why you have more Grand Slam Titles than any man in history. Show the world why you appeared in a DiMaggio-like record of 23 consecutive Major semifinals. Show the world again and again what a Buddhistic Calm can accomplish when allied with an unflinching and ruthless Will. And most importantly, show the world that age does not matter right now, and that you can win another Major and take back what is rightfully yours: the #1 ranking in the world, and with it, the smashing of the last significant record which still eludes you…. But not for long.

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  5. That’s the latest from Roger regarding Rome:

    By Scott Williams (AFP) – 6 hours ago 
    ROME — Roger Federer and family landed in the Italian capital on Monday with the Swiss hoping to participate as scheduled in this week’s Rome Masters.
    But the newly-crowned world number two, who won a third Madrid title at the weekend over Tomas Berdych, said that he will be listening to his body to determine if he’s feeling fit enough to make a second round start on Wednesday at the Foro Italico.
    “Normally yes,” the 30-year-old said of his chances of taking to the court as scheduled at an event which he has never won despite two finals.
    “But we’ll see how I feel over the next few days. I still have a couple of days to see how I feel and take it from there.
    “It’s been a tough week, the body feels it when you come back from six weeks. It does hurt a bit so I just have to make sure I make the right decision come Tuesday, Wednesday. I hope I can play.”

    So, there you have. I am sure we’ll know more by tomorrow!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Vily.I think he will probably play.

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  6. Let’s put into perspective what happened.

    They accidentally created a new surface: blue clay. Federer came in cold, off a six-week layoff, and mastered the new surface in a week. His was a truly pioneering effort.

    The blue clay was fast, like a hard court. But it was still possible to slide on it, like clay. So it was a weird hybrid. All the shot selection and footwork was scrambled.

    Most players failed to learn the intricacies of the new surface and fell away. By natural selection, two players made the final: the natural (Berdych), who by sheer chance was totally at home on the blue clay, and the most versatile player in the game (Federer), who was able to adapt to the unfamiliar conditions.

    With the exception of Federer, I think Berdych would have taken all comers on the blue clay. It seems tailor-made for him the way the Monte Carlo clay is for Nadal. By instinct, he knows exactly what to do on it. Nadal had better thank his lucky stars that RG is not played on the Madrid blue clay, for he would be fortunate to win seven games against Berdych.

    The signs that Berdych was a blue-clay natural were everywhere: when everyone else was talking about how hard it was to move on the blue clay, Berdych was saying that he felt really confident.

    His serve was very effective, and his already dangerous returning was enhanced, he allowed his opponents five games on his way to the semis. Three times in the tournament, Berdych’s opponent served for a set against him, and each time he broke back.

    The surface even compensated for his weakness, his defense. His footwork was good enough that he could still move well and slide to retrieve balls he couldn’t get to on hard courts.

    He was like a shark cruising in the blue water, and his opponents were like unskilled swimmers blundering into his domain and getting torn apart as they floundered helplessly in the alien element. Even Del Potro, strong as an ox and very mentally tough, eventually succumbed.

    So Federer was not facing the usual Berdych, he was facing a Berdych in his natural domain, which I believe accounted for the extreme closeness of the result.

    The match was historic: the first men’s final ever fought on this new surface. The contestants more than rose to the occasion, putting on a blue-clay masterclass. Not only did they play well, they used the novel properties of the surface to full advantage!

    If they keep using the blue clay (and if it plays the same as it did this year, which may not happen), future coaches will be studying videos of this match to teach their charges how to play on it.

    The world #1 and the King of Clay claimed it was impossible to move and defend on the new surface; Federer and Berdych proved them utterly wrong.

    Both men glided beautifully on the blue clay, and at times came up with some remarkable gets. By the end of the match, Federer was getting in some great clay-court counterpunches, sliding into the ball and using Berdych’s pace against him after moving Berdych around and eliciting a carelessly struck ball.

    Through all difficulties: the strange new surface, Layani’s careless umpiring (in addition to that bad call on the drop shot, he also awarded the first point to Berdych when Federer served for the match, when it should have gone to Federer), an opponent who was a natural on the blue clay, Federer remained steely.

    Truly impressive to me was his serving during the early part of the third set. Somehow he came up with exactly the right serves, even on second serves, to stave off Berdych’s lethal returning on multiple break points. Somehow after only a week of play he understood exactly how the ball would behave on the blue clay, how it would take the kick or the slice. For it was not by chance or Berdych’s mental weakness that he avoided an early deficit in the crucial decider.

    His own returning was brilliant, and he produced it at the most important times to break for the last two sets.

    He displayed all his variety, the short slice to bring Berdych to net, the loopy and short-angle balls to get Berdych off balance, everything. I particularly remember a deep chip he hit down the line, when Berdych thought he was going to slice it crosscourt. It struck the baseline for a clean winner, right behind the completely bamboozled Berdych, and the crowd erupted.

    At all the most important junctures he made the right choices of shot, and since no blue clay playbook existed before this tournament began, he was improvising the whole time!

    He did what no one else could have done, and hauled the shark out of the water and onto dry land after a titanic struggle. He outplayed the natural on his home surface and mastered the alien element that the other elite of the game dismissed as an insuperable obstacle, showing total confidence on a surface that no one in history had ever played on before last week.

    Next to the other milestones in Federer’s storied career, this may be a comparatively minor one. It is not a Grand Slam and it gets him to #2, not #1. But we should still give it the full appreciation due to it and reflect on its significance.

    By accident, they created a new playing surface and Federer responded as only a true pioneer and innovator can: blaze a new trail in the wilderness.

    Where Nadal and Djokovic saw a barren blue desert, Federer saw only a new challenge to be conquered, a new spur to greatness. And he met the challenge and achieved another pinnacle of greatness.

    For he IS the master of all surfaces, past, present, and future.

    [Reply]

  7. Hey, Guys!

    Read this on the ford somewhere:

    Looking ahead – Wimbledon points drop a week before Wimbledon points get added, so Novak loses 1640 more than you, and Rafa loses 840 more than you. Currently you are 1770 points behind Novak. If you can get within 1640 points before Wimbledon, the points drop alone will give you that extra week at #1, regardless of Wimbledon results. So Rome and Roland Garros (and Halle) are now key tournaments in this regard. Good luck, and best of health.

    So, technically Roger has a very decent chance to become number 1 even if it is for a week or so. Just very interesting with all that new schedule and ranking system.

    Nadal must be fuming right now! :-) ))

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  8. “It’s exciting times ahead for me. Winning so many tournaments and playing so well, obviously I do believe I can win the grand slams,” said Federer.
    “But I know the difficulty of the French Open and the focus will be a lot on Novak because he’s going for four in a row and on Rafa because he’s the defending champion. It’s going to be an exciting tournament.”

    I just love how Roger is taking pressure off himself with this statements. And it’s so true.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for the informative comments Vily. Keep ’em coming ;-)

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  9. Man! Love the pic of Rog and the ball girls! I wonder if the girls dope for looks. Gotta get to Spain and take up ball-fighting.

    Good analysis. We sure had no need of watching any tie-breaks. I would have preferred that Rog served it out (What’s that? Only one serve of six was a first serve in that game!) You are right about that clown of an umpire missing that “up ball”. He also made Rog replay the point after a wrong out-call on an unplayable first serve in Rog’s last service game. Layani botches regularly – you know he’s gonna screw up.

    But the main thing is Rog hung tough against a Berdych playing out of his mind. The Czech’s returns were simply incredible. Apart from a wobble on a couple of service games – like when he was serving it out – Roger was mentally much tougher than he was a year or two ago.

    I rang doping control. Have you seen Berdych’s thighs! The guy used to be a string bean. And now he covers the court like certain Spaniards do. Roger’s arms by comparison are embarrassing. You think you can kick sand in his face. But not clay – especially if it’s blue.

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  10. Great post Ruan as usual. One imp stat this week RF won 99 points to Raonic’s 103 but still won the match. Last year on many occasions he won more points than his opponent and still lost the match. Nice to see the great Fed has turned it around. There is so much to learn from this guy and apply it to life outside tennis. This is exactly why he will always remain the GOAT – no one else can come close!!!

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  11. This 3.0 version of Roger is very different from last year indeed. Very different. Actually, stroke wise, Roger was incredible during most of 2011 but mentally, there was room for improvement. It was difficult to say when the mental transition happened, and why, because he was so damn good later that year. Actually, I don’t think Roger is up to last years form yet but his head exceeds all reasonable expectations. Would love to see Rogers head battle tested against Nadal at RG.
    My own theory to Rogers troubles last year is Mirka. She didn’t look too happy last year. There was a visible improvement later last year and it seems their relationship has found some new ground to stand on. Roger seems very much a family man to me and I believe he thrives at this stage in his life. If he finds a good path of physical form, which he showed pleny off last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if 2012 becomes his best year, at least close to.

    [Reply]

    feddybear Reply:

    i dont understand how you came up with that theory…? what are basing this on? Federer family are keeping their life very private and i never read any gossip about the relationship between Rog and Mirka. but maybe there is something to the notion that family life in general has become a bit more stable now that the girls are a little older, something that enables Fed to focus on tennis.

    Ruan – great post. i coudnt agree more about the ranking thing. Fed needs to play well and win tournaments, the ranking will be a pleasant side affect.

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  12. Federer has not only won another title, but he has won a lot of respect for the way he has dealt with the slippery surface. Much in contrast to Djokovic and Nadal, who not only lost early in the tournament but also made themselves look very bad with the way they commented on their surprising exits. The Gentlemen of Tennis will be remembered for his off court behavior as much as for his on court magic.

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  13. Great Analysis Ruan, I have to say Roger winning again really makes his chances for number one and securing another Grand Slam pretty reasonable. Sure there’s a long road ahead of him and many battles to fight but Federer has more motivation and desire in him than I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe he had to scrap his way out of that final against an in-form Berdych and many people are saying he should have lost but the his mental toughness and ability to hold his nerve is astounding now as compared to the beginning of 2011 up to the U.S. Open 2011. I think that if he continue this trend along with being able to keep up physically and maintain a steady high level of play and sometimes the luck of the draw, the sky is the limit. I starting to wonder if it’s better for Federer to player tougher opponents in the early rounds to amp up his skills for the later rounds, for e.g. Indian Wells, Madrid, Rotterdam. Just a thought. Anyways enough jabbering from me. I am very proud of Federer, he is always fun to watch and sometimes nerve wracking. Any further news on whether he’s playing Rome?

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  14. The Absolute Latest about Roger:

    Roger Federer has put and end to the speculation that he would skip the Rome Masters 1000 at the Foro Italico. After his big title Sunday in Madrid, Federer hinted that his body may not allow him to compete in Rome.

    Tennis.com also reported that Federer was on medication during Madrid for an undisclosed ailment.

    But according to this Blick story filed today, Federer will be playing his second round match tomorrow against Carlos Berlocq.

    Federer, who has twice finished runner-up in Rome (2003, 2006) but has never won, is seeded to meet defending champion Novak Djokovic in his semifinal.

    Rafael Nadal in in the other half of the draw. Nadal and Federer are in a battle for the No. 2 seeding/ranking for the French Open.

    Via Facebook page earlier, Federer posted “Enjoying a tourist bus tour in Rome. This city is amazing!”

    Roger Federer Facebook

    As you can see Roger is enjoying himself and the fact that draw is even easier now with Monfils losing, I think Roger is definitely going to play!!!

    Yahoo! Allez Roger!

    [Reply]

  15. Hi Ruan thanks for your post as always.

    I told you that I was feeling absolutely confident about Roger winning Madrid 2 weeks ago, and gut feeling proves itself right again. :-) And what’s more Nadal can’t even sniff the No.2 if he loses before the final, that really is a huge bonus.

    I mean, just look at his titles, there are signs showing that Roger is back, he’s won 2 MS1000 in a year already, the last time he done that was 2009 where he reached all 4 major finals and won 2 of them. 4 titles before RG, last time he did that was 2007 where he was dominating, so overall this is a really good sign of Roger winning #17. It would be even better if #17 was RG.

    OK as for my gut feeling in Rome, I’m confident that Nadal won’t win here and Roger will retain his No.2 ranking. But I don’t think Roger will win Rome, for some reason I think Djokovic will. However, I firmly believe that Roger will get to at least the semis, anything after that I will see it as a bonus.

    Anyway let’s pray for Roger and all the best for him. :D

    [Reply]

    feddybear Reply:

    si noe i am waiting to read your gut feeling for RG and Wimby… hope its all good!

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  16. Hey ruan, great post.
    Vily mentioned Wimbledon points get dropped a week before the are added. The ATP site confirms this.
    This is great news for us.
    Federer needs to add 135 points more than Nole before Wimbledon. But this won’t be easy as he is defending 480 more points in FO. He needs to do better than Nole in Rome and atleast one round better in FO.He also has the chance to put on 140 more points in the Wimbledon tune-up(Don’t know if and which one djokovic is going for).
    It won’t be easy, but in the form Federer is in, it is possible.
    It would give him no. 1 only for a week, but a week means 286.
    P.S. 45-3 post USO :D

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  17. Awesome win Roger! Wonderful writing Ruan!!.. Federer has become very strong mentally now.Some interesting facts – In 2011 Fed had saved 65% of breakpoints faced, where as this year it has improved to 74%. Similarly the total service games won has improved from 90 to 93%. His confidence in Serve has been the key this year. I usually get nervous during Federer’s matches , when the second serve point percentage goes down. We start feeling that today he is not going to make it. But Federer was too cool in Madrid, even with only 40% second serve points he won. This is really a wonderful time for us Federer fans. And for sure he wont be stopping this wonderful run any time soon.

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  18. Somehow it seems the surface in Madrid got a bad rap because of Nadal (and Djokovic to some extent), at least judging from the comments on tennistv.com. I feel this (at least tries) to take away some from Roger.
    Yesterday del Potro played Llorda (in Rome). He slipped and fell TWICE but for some reason the courts in Rome are not slippery. Is the difference really that big between Madrid and Rome? Sure, some players looked uncomfortable (Roger included) but others seemed totally at home in Madrid. I thought the courts in Madrid were maintained awesomely. They were totally beautiful to watch too.
    If think that both Nadal and Djokovic were upset by themselves getting all worked up about the surface, building to much negative emotions about it. They painted them selves into a corner. Had they done well, then what was all the talk about the surface about.

    [Reply]

    spaniel Reply:

    Agree. They out some extra pressure on them in Rome. Now they have to show they are the best in red clay. I can not wait to see how they handle it. Hope they wont.

    I was thinking maybe Madrid was not so slippery, maybe it is hard to get used to colour, it Asorbs more light and one can troubles to feel comfortable.

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  19. Roger – Berlocq – Rome:

    A nice win for Roger! However, I could see that he was going thru an adjustment phase from the relatively faster Blue Clay to this pathetic “grind till you die” Red Clay in Rome.

    After an week of impeccable serving (how I wish he had served liked that with that consistency in AO Semis) I was somewhat surprised that he did not serve very well. Even though his 1st % was in 60+ I do not think he served as well. And 2nd Set his serve tanked to 45% while Berlocq’s shot up to the 80s!

    But overall I am happy because this is actually a good experience for Roger to have to rely more on his ground game and Net prowess (18/23) to win. With lack of free cheap points on Serve he had to use his ground game and volleying and that should give him a lot of confidence!

    To be calm and draw from your other strengths when one of your main weapons had deserted you will definitely go a long way into this tournament.

    However I am still a bit unhappy with a couple of the following things:

    1. At some game, I do not remember exactly when in the 1st set – Roger was down 15-40 (he was still up a break) managed to get to deuce and then in 40-40 rally Berlocq hit the ball short and Roger was going for the kill. But even a few secs before he hit, Berlocq started scrambling to his backhand side and I thought at that moment Roger will change his shot and hit to his Forehand or even maybe a drop shot on his Forehand side. But Roger hit cross court right to Berlocq who was on the run and prepared and Roger was lucky that Berlocq missed the down the line by half an inch! One cannot get away with that with Rafa/Nole/Berdych/Murray/Potro. Roger still had the time and has the skills to change the shot in the last second or so, but he did not. This is something I saw on a few occasions in Madrid as well although I cannot exactly remember at what points of the match they happened. Nevertheless, this still disconcerts me.

    2. Roger was really struggling to Return serves today. Sure, Credit to Berlocq but many of Roger’s returns did not even make it inside the court. He seemed to have a lot of problems with the serves that sit up and bounce high. Hopefully this is again due to adjustment from the Blue Clay to this uninspiring dreaded surface. As I said before they might as well have a Grand Slam on Beach Sand !

    Overall, a good continuation of the momentum and given this surface I will be satisfied if Roger makes it to the semis. It is not worth it for Roger’s class to have to grind this one out.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    You have to remember that Roger was playing Berlocq for the first time so it’s normal to not be absolutely sure about shot selection.

    In any case, he is through. I just hope his body holds and that he keeps winning. Tomorrow should be pretty easy – and also a nice match between 2 former number 1 players vs. Ferrero.

    I say that each win is a bonus here and Roger should be having fun out there.

    After the big statements by Nadal and Djokovic, they are the ones that have to prove themselves on the red clay. Roger is doing just fine!!!

    Allez Roger!!!

    [Reply]

    sraman Reply:

    Well said Vily. I just want the very best for Rgoer in RG, so is my comment on an a couple if issues and of course needless to say you know how fans like likes us are nit picky. But I take your point. I hope Meyer shows Nadal the Exit! Thanks for your reply!

    [Reply]

  20. Guys – Looks like Isner is back on fire. Of course, we know his inconsistency, but I dare him to bring it on to Roger.

    Because if Isner is at his best, the only way Roger can win is being Clutch. And this EXACTLY what we need from Roger when RG is around the corner.

    We had enough of Roger’s elegance and brilliance and genuineness. What we need is more of clutch winning, as he did in IW and Madrid. That does not mean his genius and brilliance will be gone – they will always be there as they are inherent to his game and genes.

    But this clutchiness (if there is a word like that) will take it beyond for the records!

    Roger: I christen your middle name as Clutch – Go Roger Clucth Federer!!!!!! Go , Go , Go, And keep and on ticking and Going!

    [Reply]

    Dave Reply:

    Isner is out, the draw is opening up for Roger.

    [Reply]

  21. Let the doping issue go,Rich(Neil)

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Don’t like to hear the truth? Or views that don’t match your own? And who the f*ck is neil? Simarin your real name or you just can’t spell?

    [Reply]

  22. Ok,rich.this is a challenge for your next post;make one post without mentioning doping once. I would be mightily impressed

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    14 likes for my last comment against your single objection. Why should I care about impressing you? You should lighten up. (By the way, you have mentioned doping in your last 2 comments. I am not impressed. You need to talk about something else. Like the ball girls at Madrid. But not your cup of tea I guess.)

    [Reply]

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